I know it’s disheartening and demoralising.
I’ve engaged in very few such internal partisan affairs in my time writing. I did this time, because it mattered too much.
We thirst after unity, I know; and we swallowed a whole lot in order to present that united front going into GE 13.
Now is another time. Now we must look inside and straighten what is crooked, and fix what is broken, well before the next general elections.
Know your author
When you read anyone’s writing, it’s important to know the background of the author. Let me try to be honest and forthcoming.
My company has done work for the Selangor state government for about 2 and a half years now. If you’d like to know how much I’m paid, some of the pro-Azmin cyberpeople have put out some figures. I am not sure exactly how much people my age with similar background/qualifications are paid, but I’m guessing it’s not far off.
I’m not a member of TSKI’s staff, and have actually never had a serious discussion with him since starting work. I report to his staff, who are my colleagues and friends, and who – while also not perfect – I have come to respect, especially in terms of their professionalism.
If Azmin did become MB, I would not seek to continue my work with the state government. Losing one’s job is never nice, but I have to admit, it would be far, far from the first time I have been technically unemployed over the last 10 years. It’s not unfamiliar territory for me.
You will have to decide for yourselves whether you feel my objectivity is compromised for any reasons of personal gain.
What I have already written has resulted in angry accusations from many whom I very recently considered old friends. I won’t pretend to be stronger than I am, that experience was hurtful and very sad.
I thought about stopping.
Then I thought about it some more. I finally figured – if I give in to fear now…. Well, they said in that movie: “If you start running, they’ll never let you stop.”
No to bullies.
Why does this matter at all?
Who will the next candidate for PM be, post-Anwar?
In Malaysia, the head of the primary party in the winning coalition is conventionally given the post of PM.
The battle over the MB-ship is a prelude to the next PKR party elections.
Those elections will likely decide which breed of leaders will lead PKR into GE 14.
What does Khalid vs. Azmin represent?
I want to be upfront here. Using html-inspired styling, I want to indicate where I am writing Just My Opinion, instead of pretending they are facts etc. People are free to evaluate and judge for themselves.
[Just My Opinion]
All men have their weaknesses and strengths.
Khalid is not a particularly charismatic speaker (though when he gets started on things that he is passionate about….), he holds very firmly to his beliefs and is not easily persuaded unless faced with solid facts and figures. I’m sure more than a few people have described him as ‘stubborn’.
I would say his first strength is his fervent belief in doing the right thing. My impression is that as a believe in being a gentleman, he would never endure the undignified ugliness that often comes with politics if not for the fact that it is politicians who are ruining our country, and who must be replaced.
In his time as MB, I have watched him ignore excessively political/petty considerations in favour of working hard to improve & empower the civil service, displaying a religious fervor in ensuring prudent financial management, and prioritising policies that actually make a difference in the lives of an every day man.
That of course, is my opinion and interpretation of his work. It would be best if you examined the evidence, and made your own conclusions.
Umno style feudalism
For the statesman, every deed is measured to give a better life to the rakyat.
For the politician, every word is measured to get more votes from the rakyat.
Azmin choses his words as well as any leader this country has seen. If only he chose his principles half as well, we would have quite a statesman.
Khalid spent his life managing and building organisations. Azmin spent his life politicking. The difference shows.
I have often described Azmin’s politics as feudal.
By this I mean I feel he spends the great bulk of his time putting loyalists into positions of power.
Look at all the people who stood behind him on his Friday PC. Those of you who follow politics more closely will be in a better position to judge: are those candidates who were likely chosen on the basis of merit and performance record? Or on the basis of loyalty to their boss?
Does their track record of service and performance in parliament match their track record of loyalty?
Azmin strikes me as the kind of man who spends his time on the only two feudal priorities that matter: a) recruiting loyalists (however inept) who follow lords instead of principles, and who will help him rise to power, and b) finding ways to feed those loyalists with resources and positions of power.
As you can imagine the MB of Selangor has a lot of opportunities to ‘feed’ people. The fact that Khalid is having none of blind financing of party people is certain to create a group of party people who are discontent with him – for, in my humble view, all the wrong reasons.
And look at this whole Friday PC fiasco.
Rumours of a real leader with integrity jumping ship would never even have been taken seriously, much less become an internet phenomenon. Real leaders do not need to play out some elaborate, attention-seeking farce of a drama, with little real content beyond a few sulky jibes.
Real leaders spend their time working, not politicking.
By their fruits…
Another thing I invite you to scrutinise is the nature of a leader’s supporters.
Play close attention to the things they say, and the tone that they take.
See whether or not they spend their time engaging in discussion, or in attacking others.
Compare whose are emotional, and whose are level-headed.
I have often noted that a full time career in politics tends to compromise somewhat one’s abilities to take a step back, separate emotion from reason, and treat one another civilly. It is one of the sad effects of the pressures of the job.
[/Just My Opinion]
Azmin has taken a cue directly from Najib’s book, in wasting no time in going from general elections mode, to party elections mode.
He has fired the first shot, and so be it. Let them come.
I can’t pretend to be inspired by the silence of so many PKR leaders people (like myself) held in such high esteem (maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt for what may be behind the scenes work), but I hope they too will overcome whatever fears they may have soon.
In the end, the next top leaders of the party, and potential top leaders of the country, will soon be determined by PKR members, past, present and future.
It’s a dirty job, but if you and I don’t do it, then people like Azmin will overrun us all.